By ELISABETH DELLAROVA
“This is a culmination of the whole first week,” said Rebecca Jacobi, the chair of Big Events for UMW’s Campus Programming Board (CPB), on the first Friday afternoon of the semester.
Outside on Ball Circle, a crew of volunteers, vendors, and ride operators were setting up for CPB’s First Friday event. The event occurs on the first Friday of classes every fall and spring (in spring, it is held indoors in the Chandler Ballroom). The event welcomes back students and celebrates the end of the first week of classes and the beginning of a new semester.
First Friday had an amusement park theme this year.
“This is the first year we’ve had mechanical rides,” said Jacobi.
There was a teacup ride and swings, as well as a giant inflatable obstacle course with a slide, all of which were manned by employees of the ride rental company. Jacobi also recruited about 30 student volunteers to run the event.
The event was held from 5-8 p.m., covering all of Ball Circle with rides and food stands. On one side of Ball Circle, there was a snack tent serving cotton candy and snow cones. Beside it was a funnel cake truck. There was a long line of students waiting to have their caricature drawn by an artist. The spinning swing and teacup ride delighted students.
“The event is a way to show off CPB, especially to freshmen,” said Jacobi.
CPB is a club that puts on small and large events for the campus community. It is organized into four cabinets: Big Events, Reel Deals, Productions, and Trips. Anyone can join CPB and assist in any of these areas. After some time as a general member, they can take on a bigger role, like Jacobi’s Chair of Big Events role.
Jacobi is a junior international affairs and women’s and gender studies double major. She has been involved with CPB since her freshman year. This is her first event as Big Events Chair.
“This has been a good learning experience,” said Jacobi.
She started planning the event in April. All summer, she was calling vendors, creating a budget, receiving invoices and sending emails.
Jacobi said that she hoped that everyone who came enjoyed the event. She explained that First Friday creates an opportunity for freshmen to do something fun with their new friends on campus while they’re adjusting to being at college.
“And for many upperclassmen, it’s a tradition,” she said.
As the sun went down and students slowly trickled away from Ball Circle, still holding the remains of their cotton candy or snow cones, there was a feeling of excitement and anticipation for what the new semester would bring.